How did Katie Price fund six holidays this year – and £15,000 of cosmetic surgery – when she’s bankrupt and owes £3.2million?
- Katie Price, 43, has enjoyed £15,000 worth of procedures, six holidays this year
- She travelled Portugal in May and June also visiting St Lucia, Turkey, and Spain
- Price earlier in 2021 crashed her uninsured BMW X5 into a hedge in West Sussex
- Judge told model on Wednesday she deserved jail but would avoid serving time
Five days before she appeared in front of a judge for sentencing this week, Katie Price was at the BeClinic in Brussels, having fat removed from her bottom and breast-lifting surgery.
How on earth the bankrupt 43-year-old could afford the £15,000 worth of procedures, given that she owes her creditors £3.2 million, is quite a puzzle.
Presumably, someone else is footing the bill or the treatments are provided in return for her publicity.
Even more curious, perhaps, is her apparent nonchalance and lack of humility in the run-up to her day in court.
After all, she had previously admitted crashing her uninsured BMW X5 into a hedge near her West Sussex home while disqualified for the sixth time following previous offences, and while drunk and high on cocaine.
A chastening spell behind bars should have seemed a sure-fire prospect for the controversial former glamour model.
But in court on Wednesday, a judge told the mother of five that while she ‘deserved’ to go to prison for her latest episode of lawbreaking, her ‘hands were tied’.
How on earth bankrupt model Katie Price, 43, has afford the £15,000 worth of procedures and several holidays this year, given that she owes her creditors £3.2 million, is quite a puzzle
Price had admitted crashing her uninsured BMW X5 into a hedge near her West Sussex home while disqualified for the sixth time following previous offences, and while drunk and high on cocaine
More, in a moment, of the fancy legal footwork that saw Price walk free with a 16-week suspended sentence and a community service order.
Because it is a decision that has outraged many — including police, road safety campaigners and one of her ex-husbands — not least because, in reality, thrice-divorced Price has so far shown no convincing signs of changing her ways.
Take the fact that she hasn’t yet paid a penny of the fines incurred for all her previous driving offences, an amount standing at £7,358.
Next month she is due back at Crawley Magistrates’ Court; this time she will have to explain why she hasn’t paid up.
And despite being declared bankrupt in November 2019 after defaulting on £12,000-a-month repayments to her creditors, Price has managed to lap up the sun on multiple jaunts abroad this year.
She enjoyed trips to Portugal in May and June, as well as travelling to Malaga in Spain, Turkey and St Lucia.
She even managed to squeeze in a trip to Las Vegas between her two appearances before Crawley magistrates, hinting on social media that she was about to get married for the fourth time before flying home and re-entering The Priory for what she described on Instagram as a ‘well needed session’.
All in all, then, there appears to be little visible remorse about what was described in court as Price’s ‘chaotic’ life.
Yet it was her apparent contrition that convinced JPs to defer sentencing when she appeared in front of them in September, just hours after flipping her car on an empty country road at 6am, two miles from her home, admitting everything she had done and telling them she needed help.
Her lawyers promised she would go into rehab to address her alcohol and drug abuse, asking the lay members of the bench to defer sentencing and delay her punishment for a set period of time, subject to her rehab visit and her promise not to commit any further offences.
Her five children, including 19-year-old Harvey, who is disabled, needed her, it was claimed. So too did her 69-year-old mother Amy, who is terminally ill with a lung disease. For reasons known only to themselves, the JPs agreed.
Price’s five children, including 19-year-old Harvey, (pictured together) who is disabled, needed her, it was claimed in court
Legally speaking, it was a masterstroke on the part of Price’s lawyer, Joe Harrington.
Solicitor and road law expert Nick Freeman — aka Mr Loophole, who has successfully defended celebrities facing driving offence charges including David Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson — tells me ‘it was a smart move for which her lawyer should be congratulated’.
He adds: ‘Whether or not the magistrates now feel they’ve done the right thing is a matter for them.’
When a deferred sentence case comes back to court, a judge can only impose a prison term if the offender has failed to comply with the conditions agreed at the earlier hearing.
No matter that Price was spotted laden down with bags on shopping trips while staying at The Priory in South-West London two months ago.
Or that she went straight from there to Las Vegas with her Love Island star fiance Carl Woods, before popping back to the clinic where she has been admitted three times in three years. Goodness only knows how she can afford the £7,000-a-week cost.
But as Freeman points out: ‘The magistrates could have refused to defer sentence. If it had been me, I’d simply have adjourned for pre-sentencing reports. I would have made it clear that all sentencing options were on the table.
‘Whoever her lawyer was did an excellent job. They saved their client from going to prison over Christmas.’
Did Price know she would avoid jail on a legal technicality?
While her friends feared she was in denial about jail in recent weeks as she splashed out more cash on Christmas preparations, one reported: ‘When she is asked, her response is that she has been to The Priory, and they will let her off because her family need her.’
Fancy legal footwork saw model Katie Price (pictured with Carl Woods leaving Crawley Magistrates’ Court) walk free with a 16-week suspended sentence and a community service order
As things stand, then, Price is free to enjoy the festive season with her fiancé and family at ‘Mucky Mansion’, the £1.7 million nine-bedroom Arts and Crafts home in Horsham she bought from Tory minister Francis Maude in 2014, at the height of her fame.
The house earned its nickname after a housekeeper revealed the squalid conditions in which Price lived in the run-down property, which was littered with takeaway boxes and piles of detritus.
She may be a free woman, but that’s not to say she is out of the woods yet. Her appearance in court this week is the latest incident in what has been a slow but decidedly downward spiral in a once stellar — if somewhat downmarket — career.
So where did it all go wrong for a woman who was once said to be worth £45 million?
For the past few years, much of Price’s life has been utterly shambolic. Having risen to fame on the back of a topless modelling career, she was once lauded for the shrewd business brain that saw her launch a range of perfumes, lingerie, jewellery, ghost-written novels and memoirs, equestrian equipment and make-up.
A 2004 appearance on I’m A Celebrity heralded her transition from Page 3 girl persona Jordan to something closer to her real name, Katrina Price.
Romance with a fellow contestant, Nineties pop star Peter Andre, their subsequent glittering Cinderella-style wedding at Downton Abbey’s Highclere Castle and the birth of their two children, Junior, now 15, and 13-year-old Princess, saw them become one of the most bankable couples in the UK.
But while Price’s fame reached its zenith in her new semi-respectable guise as Mrs Andre, their highly acrimonious split in 2009 sparked the beginning of her fall from grace.
Almost exactly two years have passed since Price was declared bankrupt, having failed to stump up the £12,000 a month she owed her creditors.
They are believed to include HMRC and her mortgage company, as well as her first two husbands, Peter Andre and former cage fighter Alex Reid, who both sued her; the latter after she played a sexually explicit video clip of him to a TV audience in 2018.
Almost exactly two years have passed since Price was declared bankrupt, having failed to stump up the £12,000 a month she owed her creditors. They are believed to include her first husband Peter Andre (pictured together in 2006)
Despite that rock-bottom moment, Price was as cocky as ever, proclaiming in a YouTube video that she would be bankrupt for a year ‘then start afresh again. It doesn’t stop me. I’m still working. Still earning. I just want it to hurry up so I can look forward to the end of the 12 months. I’m a survivor’.
But despite her oft-repeated catchphrase — ‘Never underestimate the Pricey!!’ — her life since then appears to have lurched from one disaster to the next.
In August 2020, she broke both feet falling from a wall at a theme park while ‘mucking about’ on holiday in Turkey. She had an eight-hour operation to fuse the bones back together and still walks with a limp because of what she called ‘life-changing injuries’.
In August this year she posted photographs of her bruised face and cut lip online, claiming to have been attacked at home. Police arrested a man in his 30s and released him on bail.
Her fiance Carl Woods denied that he was the attacker, posting on social media that ‘I have never and never would do anything to hurt Katie and the truth will be told’.
As her solicitor Mr Harrington put it in court in September: ‘She has had a lot of personal difficulties recently, including a domestic incident that is subject to a police investigation and difficulties with her agent. She is in the process of bankruptcy proceedings and her house could be repossessed.
‘So quite a lot going on in a really difficult period.’
He added that Price’s ‘ruinous’ finances were so disorganised that an unpaid £7.50 toll for using the Dartford Crossing had spiralled into a £1,400 debt.
Yet when it comes to spending money on herself, Price seems to have plenty at her fingertips.
Her obsession with cosmetic surgery has shown no sign of abating. In June this year she and Woods flew to Istanbul, where she had a Brazilian ‘bum’ lift, full body liposuction and eye and lip lifts.
All of this was documented on camera, as is much of her life, this time for her YouTube channel.
Price’s fiance Carl Woods (pictured together in Las Vegas) denied that he was the attacker, posting on social media that ‘I have never and never would do anything to hurt Katie and the truth will be told’
However, Professor Ellis Cashmore, a celebrity expert at Aston University and author of Kardashian Kulture, says that going to prison could have been the best move of all for her career.
‘In a perverse way, it would have added new interest to her career narrative,’ he says.
‘It could have generated a whole new line of work for her — books, diaries, TV work — as it did for Paris Hilton after she went to jail for traffic offences in 2006. It would also have enabled people to feel sorry for her, whereas now many are furious that she appears to have got off so lightly.’
According to Professor Cashmore, Price’s biggest mistake has been her failure to adapt.
‘I think she thought her fame would go on for ever,’ he says. ‘She thought she was invincible but she’s just done the same thing over and over again, like a one-trick pony. That kind of tactic can’t sustain you into middle age. You need to keep surprising people.’
There were some positive signs earlier this year that Price was back in the game. A documentary about life with her disabled son, Harvey And Me, was nominated for a National Television Award.
Despite her parlous financial state, she still has extensive business interests. Aside from her equestrian clothing business, she has her own ranges of make-up, skincare and fragrance. And while she is banned from being a company director because of her bankruptcy, last year a new company called Priceywoods Ltd was registered in her fiance’s name.
But her hope that bankruptcy would be over in 12 months has proved to be misplaced. Her bankruptcy order was extended by the High Court in November last year after she failed to fulfil her promises to pay back some of the millions she owes to creditors.
She will return to court in February 2022, a month after she is due back at Crawley Magistrates over her unpaid motoring fines, for another review of her debt repayments.
In the past few days, her social media has been filled with wholesome snaps of her children; son Junior with a pony; seven-year-old daughter, Bunny, holding a slow worm; Princess dressed in a Father Christmas hat. Harvey, her eldest child from her relationship with ex-footballer Dwight Yorke, is seen posing next to Christmas lights.
Price also posted an apology on her Instagram site, saying that she was ‘incredibly sorry for my actions’ and stating that she was now ‘spending time getting better — mental health is a hidden illness and can strike at any time’.
Only time will tell if she is serious about her recovery.
For, above all, hers is a salutary tale of what lies in wait for those who seek fame at the expense of everything else.
Price also posted an apology on her Instagram site, saying that she was ‘incredibly sorry for my actions’ and stating that she was now ‘spending time getting better — mental health is a hidden illness and can strike at any time’
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